Officials in the United Republic of Tanzania say that as of last Wednesday, the number of cholera cases in the current outbreak is now 24,108, including 378 deaths nationally.
The majority of these cases had been reported from 23 regions in mainland Tanzania (20,961 cases, including 329 deaths).
The overall trend of incident cases has been fluctuating. Between October and December 2015, there was a drastic reduction in the number of new cases reported in several regions (Morogoro, Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Arusha and Singida). From the middle of December 2015 to the end of March 2016, the number of new reported cases started to increase again. Then, since the middle of March, there has been a significant reduction in cases reported in the mainland. For instance, the daily average of incident cases has declined from around 150 in March 2016 to less than 30 in the middle of April 2016.
To date, Zanzibar has reported 3,057 cases, including 51 deaths, from five regions. The majority of the cases are from Unguja Island (1,818 cases, including 38 deaths) while Pemba Island has reported a cumulative total of 1,239 cases, including 13 deaths.
Assessments have shown that the main factors associated with the spread of the infection both in mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar are limited access to safe water and sanitation. Water supply institutions lack the capacity to chlorinate and conduct regular water quality monitoring and assessments. The coverage of improved latrines is also very low. Poor hygienic practices perpetuated by myths and misconceptions, and the lack of sanitation facilities in poor households have also been associated with the outbreak.
The potential for international spread of this outbreak beyond the borders of Tanzania exists given the high and free mobility between the country and the neighboring countries. Neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia have also been responding to cholera outbreaks. Additionally, Tanzania harbors busy international seaports and airports which connect the country with many other unaffected countries.
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